Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week, they post a new Top Ten topic and other bloggers respond with their own lists. I take part in this meme when I have something to say for the topic and I remember what day it is.
This week’s topic was supposed to be “Top Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read”–but that’s really hard! How can I guarantee that I’ll never read a book? So I’m reinterpreting the topic by just taking about things that make me not want to read a book, rather than specific titles I’m currently avoiding. When I could think of examples, I listed them at the bottom.
1. Books With a lot of Hype
Probably my biggest “turn off” when it comes to books is when a book gets a lot of attention, especially from people who don’t usually read. While some people may champion these books as books that are so good that they overcome teens’ dislike of reading, I generally find that my peers choose fairly unimpressive books to get excited about (eg Hunger Games, Divergent). Also, maybe I’m just an unwitting hipster, but I find super popular books just don’t appeal to me; I like more obscure ones rather than the books that show up on Pinterest infographics and billboards.
- Any of the new books by Rick Riordan
2. “Classics” (That aren’t on a school reading list)
Classics are often enjoyable reads, but not in any way that drives me to go out and read them in my own time. I trust the English classes I take to expose me to a few highlights, but on my own time, I want to read more current books. I find them more relatable and enjoyable, and while I’m still a bit defensive about this, I keep trying to tell myself that these are valid reasons. Anyone agree?
3. Overly dramatic continuations or conclusions of series
You know the type–the plot is headed toward some type of conclusion but then it swerves toward a cliff, leaving the reader dangling by their fingertips right at the end. I guess that this makes some people excited to read the next book in a series, and occasionally it does, but most of the time I get overwhelmed and annoyed. I like books with conflicts and suspense, but I have a limit of how much tension I can handle, especially when the beginning of the series (that I fell in love with) was more moderate and readable. Consistency people!
- The One (Selection #3) by Kierra Cass
- Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken
- The Death Code (Murder Complex #2) by Lindsay Cummings
4. Books With Cliche or Overwrought Plots
You know the type: a dystopian world with a love triangle where the girl with mysterious powers she can’t control has to choose between the revolutionary or the royal and discovers a shocking truth about herself…
It’s too much. I want original plots that rely on strong characters and good writing. I feel like so many authors today focus only on drama, and it’s just not my thing. Even if its well written–I still can’t handle it a lot of the time.
The problem with this one is that I forget this about myself and I’ll go to a bookstore and buy a ton of books that when I get home I realize…This sounded good? I’m never going to read this.
5. Books that focus on really sad topics
This is not always true; I have read some books that I knew going in would be sad and that totally delivered on their promise. However, most of the time, I don’t want to pick up a book that promises sadness, especially if the story is set in contemporary times. I don’t want to read about people dying of cancer or recovering from car crashes or surviving intense trauma. I read to get a break from the world, and I really don’t want to be hit over the head with the horrors of modern life. Historical fiction from WWII is in the same vein, especially if it revolves around concentration camps or some other horrific thing people had to endure.
That’s not to say that I don’t like it when books make me cry. I actually really enjoy that. But I want there to be more to a book than making me cry. I want it to be a surprise when books make me cry, not a foregone conclusion.
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
6. Books that try too hard to be unique
I know, I know! I complained about cliche plots just a second ago. But at the same time, books with plots that are obviously trying to be unique, especially in contemporary books, just annoy me. It’s hard to explain, but it is kind of the same as books that go cliche to get readers. Elanor and Park did this for me; the “un-stereotypical” protagonists felt like a desperate attempt at diversity that fell flat (for me at least, I know others love this book).